Friday, December 05, 2003

Early Morning Hold'em at Foxwoods

3 Dec 03, Connecticut... I had been partying pretty hard for five straight days. I was following one of my favorite bands Phish play four concerts throughout the Eastern US; on Long Island, Philadelphia, Albany and Boston. That was a lot of road miles in a short time. On my way home from the Philadelphia concert, I was tempted to go to Atlantic City! My friend's girlfriend was driving us and I was unable to convince her to take a detour for a few hours.

I planned on a stopover at Foxwoods at some point during my roadtrip to Boston. Foxwoods Casino is just ten minutes off of I-95 interstate on the way from Beantown to NYC. It would say it's about the midway point of the two main cities. The Phish concert let out around Midnight, and with traffic and a detour (after I got lost leaving Boston) I didn't get to Foxwoods until past 2:30 am. I had a $5 food coupon, sent to me in the mail by Foxwoods, that I cashed in for a slice of cheesecake and a large iced tea.

I wandered over to the poker room at 3am and they didn't have an open $2-4 Hold'em seat! I was kinda shocked and they put my name on the list. I didn't see any celebrities. the last two times I was there, everyone was talking about Ben Affleck's recent visit, and of course when I stopped off at Foxwoods a few weeks earlier, on my way back from Providence, I saw Chris Moneymaker playing pot limit two tables away.

I sat down at an open $4-8 table. I was exhausted and really had not slept in days, but I perked up as soon as I pulled up a chair. I posted my blind and two hands later I caught an A-J suited (d). There was a raise pre-flop and I called. The flop: Q-8-7... all diamonds. I love flopping nut flushes!! With the cards on the board there was a chance of a straight out there, so I knew there would be some action and I'd get paid off on that hand. I just called on the flop (four others did the same). I raised on the turn. Two players called. Another diamond fell on the river and I raised. One player folded and guy with the King of diamonds raised me! I re-raised and he called. I took in almost $100 on my first pot of the night. It wasn't even 3:15 am and I was up $100. About twenty minutes later, I got called for my $2-4 seat.

I read somewhere in one of the many poker books out there that you should play the opposite of the way the game has been going. Alas, I say down at a tight table. All regulars, and one or two college kids, who were calling almost every hand, were there in a rather tight game. I decided to play loose as I could and I caught some nice cards on the river. I sent one of the frat boys home with two bad beats stories. One involved me calling a pre-flop raise with 8-7 unsuited in the early position. He had Pocket Aces and I caught an 8 on the turn and another on the river for a set of 8s. His Aces & 8 were not good enough. The card of the night was: 8. I held a K-8 unsuited on the button and raised! I decided to aggressively play the button recently. The flop: Q-K-5. I called a raise from one of the frat boys. Then a K fell on the river and I called another raise. If one of the old guys with a thick New England accent raised me, I'd make him for an A-K, but I knew the frat boy had shit, since he played almost every hand. When a 5 hit on the river. I re-raised him and he called. He was shocked to see that my full house beat his set of Ks (with a J high... he held a decent hand).

By 5 am I was only up about $50. I lost a lot of pots with good hands (My A-A and Q-Q did not stand up), and I won a few with average hands pulling a straight and a 10 high flush (how cheap!)

By 6 am I was about even. The game was short handed, only seven of us. At 6:05 am, I had four crazy hands in a row.

Hand 1: UTG... I get A-K off suit. I raise and everyone folds.

Hand 2: Big Blind... I get A-K suited (h). Guy in late position raises. I re-raise. A few players fold. Two call all the re-raises. I catch a King on the flop: K-Q-2. And nothing else happens. I lose at showdown to the original raiser: A-A. Pocket aces held up. I'm now down $20.

Hand 3: Little Blind... I get 2-2. Everyone limps in. Flop: 4-6-8. I bet and everyone calls. Turn: 2. I bet and everyone calls. River: A. I check. One player folds, a few bets, and one raise. I call the raise, and so does everyone else. I won the pot with a set of 2s, beating out three pairs of Aces. I'm now up $80.

Hand 4: Button... 9-8 suited (s). 4 players. Flop: 8-10-9. I call. Turn: 9. I call a raise. River: Q. I get a raise in front of me. I re-raise. Two players fold, he calls. I'm now up $120.

I never had that much action happen to me in a row like that! Too bad my rush of cards ended. For the next hour I got shit... a flurry of 2-7 or 3-J. It was 7:30 am and I took a breakfast and smoke break. I was cranky but wanted to play a few more hours. After I returned, I was re-seated. I almost fell asleep, because my hands were so crappy. I finally got a A-K suited (c) and raised pre-flop. Six callers. Flop: K-3-4. Turn: 7. River: A. I raised every time. I got re-raised on the river and just called. At showdown I beat two other players. They held: K-J (the re-raiser) and 4-7. Yikes. I looked at my stack and saw that I was up. I got up took a piss, cashed in and drove back to NYC, with $34 in gas money!

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